I know it's late, but I hope everyone had a great Valentine's Day! I know it's not one of the most well-loved holidays in the world, ironically enough, but I've always enjoyed it as just a day to celebrate love in general, not necessarily romantic love. Love between family, friends, and the love human beings have for sugar & fat. That's why chocolate is so popular on the day, right?
During the course of my celebration on the 14th we stopped by Paul A Young for some last minute truffles 'n' treats. I've covered Paul A Young a few times on the blog previously:
Golden Champagne Easter Egg, 2014
Valentine's Day Selection Box, 2014
Valentine's Day Shortbread, 2013
Christmas Gingerbread Shortbread, 2012/2013
As you can see my Paul A Young visits do often correspond with the major holidays. Every year he does something special for them, so I'm often tempted right on in. This year the Valentine's theme was romantic cities around the world...as visited through chocolate. We tried a few of the cities & had a couple of new filled chocolates just for good measure. Odds are good these will still be available in the shops awhile longer!
Dublin (first row, far left - bottom row, far right) - Confessions: I've never tried Guinness, but that is what's in this truffle + some soda bread crunching about. It tasted like a slightly malty dark chocolate, and I did really enjoy it! I asked my husband if that is about what Guinness tastes like, and he said "yeah." So, must be accurate then!
London (first row, far right - bottom row, far left) - Gin & lime with tonic water, super accurate! There is a bit of mouth-watering fizz to the lime & tonic water, and the gin hits you with a very smooth, fresh alcohol taste. Not like a lot of other alcoholic truffles, the next one included, that have a bit of strength & vapor to them. This was a lot more refined, and could be very appealing to people who aren't even that into drink-infused chocolate.
Paris (top row center - bottom row center) - Absinthe, lump sugar. Nice alcoholic kick to it, I'm not an expert on absinthe (if I was, what a strange blog this would be...) but it certainly seemed to have some boozy vapors tucked away inside the smooth, dark ganache. Big fan of this one, anybody into alcoholic truffles would love it.
Seville (middle row far right) - This one was good, your classic orange & chocolate combination with a bit of flaked almonds for crunch & nutty depth. Not a whole lot to say about it to be honest, but the marmalade was well balanced for tang & sweetness.
Peppermint & Coffee (second row, far left) - This one was lovely. Strong, sweet peppermint with a hint of a coffee bean style flavor. Not so strong like brewed coffee, more like - well, a chocolate covered coffee bean. It was a lot like having a nice mint fondant chocolate with a sip of a strong espresso to follow. It was interesting to try this as the filling was much stiffer/more fondant than I usually see in Paul A Young.
New York (dead center) - Cream cheese, biscuit, dark chocolate. This one was awesome. Definitely the most traditional of all the flavors, as it is a cheese cake in domed chocolate form...I mean, what could go wrong? What I liked best was the density & sourness, it really captured NYC style cheesecake in a way that many British places kinda don't see. Often topped with sour cream, NYC cheesecake is a dense & not too sweet, more fatty affair. This got it right - and the little bits of graham-y biscuit drove the point home. I'd happily scarf these down just like the salted caramels - it's the same sort of perfect balance. A new line of cheesecake chocolates would be a great idea, too...in case Mr. A. Young happens to read. ;) Blueberry compote on top? Just sayin'.
Bonus mini-review! I also shared the Pink Praline brownie, and it was as dense & fudgey as ever, with a subtle almond sugar crunch on top. As nice as ever, and nearly just a perfect plain brownie.